Thursday, February 18, 2010

#15-Pi (1998)


Made in 1998, yet purposly shot in black-and-white, Pi, was the first film for Darren Aronofsky, and Sean Gullette, both who would later go on to star, and direct in bigger productions. Pi often comes with the subtitle Faith In Chaos which I personally do not attach with the film, but respect nonetheless. I understand why general audiences have trouble with films like Mulholland Dr., which are very far out there, and very long. Pi is pretty far out there, but rather short, just making it past the 80 minute mark, but this is a film that you should prepare yourself for.

This is a very confusing film, and has a lot of tecnical math terms that I caught myself trying to remember. The lack of color may throw some people off, but I actually found that I perferred it, as my TV looks a lot smoother in black-and-white. While I may get a little backlash for this, I like Pi more than Aronofsky's more popular movie Requiem For A Dream. Now, this does not mean that Pi is better, by I enjoyed it more. Like I often tell people, there is a differnce between a good movie, and a fun movie. Pi is both good, and very enjoyable.

Pi is virtually a three-trick pony character wise. It is about a mathmatician named Maximillian, who, while trying to figure out a pattern in the stock market, has a computer crash. Lost and befuddled, he throws bangs up his a printer a bit, to find that it spits out a seemling random pattern of numbers. These numbers, as it turns out are the key to the stock market. Max meets a fellow Jew and mathmatcian that thinks that the numbers are significant in Kabbla, and the church desperatly wants them. In fact, they may just do anything.

"You are, but a vessel."

Darren Aronofsky definatly set a high bar for himself after Pi. He shows that he certainly has an intensive style, but also knows how to use it, without going overboard. He knows how to tell people what to do, in order to get the correct reactions, and he is also a brilliant writer. While not used to quite the same extent, Pi features the same fast cuts, quick pans, and seemingly awkward zooms that later made him famous in Requiem For A Dream. While Aronofsky has ventured more and more away from his style, doing first The Fountain, followed by one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2008, The Wrestler, showing that he can be very verstile when he needs to be.

Sean Gullette does an excellent job playing Max. The film basically rests entirly on his shoulders, as the other main characters only get maybe twenty minutes of screen-time. That being said, the supporting cast is great as well, Mark Morgolis does an excellent job playing Max's long-time math partner, and friend, who encourages him to walk away. Ben Shenkman is also in the film, playing the Hebrew preist who slowly lures Max into dangerous territory. Though the film did have mostly solid performances, there was some third rate characters that really bothered the screen whenever then came on. But they had small roles, so it wasn't too bad.

Overall, Pi is an excellent film. Not only did Aronofsky do a brilliant job writing and directing, but also showed wanna be directors how to go about their first film. He set a bar, standard, and style for himself, that he would go on to use again, that people love, and is entirly his. The performances by the core cast were excellent, and Sean Gullette made a great start and name for himself with this film. Small problems do occur within the film, including some annyoing back-up actors, and it's very short running lenth. I cannot reccoment Pi to a Transformers loving audience, but if you are in the mood for something slightly weird, or a good brain busting thriller, Pi is one for you.

I Give Pi A:

No comments:

Post a Comment